I hope you had a great thanksgiving last weekend. I'm grateful for the magical one I enjoyed with friends and family. I happily buzzed around my kitchie preparing Autumn inspired desserts for our feast.
Pumpkin pie is always a "must"! In years past I've made raw pumpkin pies/cakes and always enjoyed them. I really like the pumpkin mousse tarts with coconut whipped cream that I made last year. The filling is so great on it's own, and is nut-free to boot! Three years ago I made a yummy carrot based raw pumpkin cheesecake.
This year I opted for a vegan Pumpkin Pie by the lovely Gluten Free Goddess, served with a scoop of raw vanilla ice cream. The Universe tested me on this one... First I discovered that my molasses had gone extremely bitter (ok I admit it was a few years old but I thought this stuff lasted forever). So in the middle of preparing the filling I had to walk to the grocery store. That was fine because I needed a lime or orange too. Well, wouldn't you know that I got chatting with someone and forgot it! I used lemon instead. The filling was absolutely delicious but I think I added a bit more liquid to make the cashew cream than I should have - the vita mix definitely wanted more than 2 tablespoons! The pie didn't get all the baking time it called for because it darkened quickly on the top and I didn't have foil to cover it and continue baking, and then the oven started smoking and set off the smoke alarm. Sheesh! As Karina states in the recipe, the pie will set up even more as it chills and I allowed it to do so for 24 hours. I knew it was underdone (stupid oven) but crossed my fingers and said a little prayer, lol. At the moment of unveiling, I got the spring form ring off just fine, it seemed nicely set.... but once I cut in, it was still on the soft side. My guests didn't mind one bit and thoroughly enjoyed, just as I did. The flavor and creamy texture are glorious and the praline (which I wanted to eat all by itself) and crust add a great touch. I decided that leftovers would be best served semifreddo style!
The second dessert I made was a Cranberry Concord Crape Cheesecake with Cranberry Date Compote. The filling gets extra silkiness from the cacao butter, and the textured compote topping has a nice tartness to contrast the sweet filling. A nice combination.
Cranberry Grape Cheesecake
1 cup almonds
1/3 cup ground oat groats
3 tablespoons maple sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
In a food processor, grind the almonds into fine crumbs.
Add the remaining ingredients except the oil and blend to combine. Add the oil last and pulse to incorporate.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 6" or 8" spring form pan (depending on how thick you want it). Set aside.
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups cashews
3/4 cup grape juice
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 drops stevia
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter
2-3 drops orange essential oil (optional)
Blend all but the oil and butter in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.
Add these remaining two ingredients and blend to incorporate.
Pour the filling over the crust and tap the pan to release air bubbles and even out the surface.
Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
Cranberry Date Compote
1 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh grape or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest or 2 drops orange essential oil
Add all ingredients to a food processor and grind together, keeping some texture.
Spread over the chilled cheesecake.
I couldn't resist making a mini tester for myself before it went to the guests 😉